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In this unit of work students will explore the mathematical concepts of comparing and ordering fractions (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2012). In order to identify fractions as being near zero, half, one or two students will use benchmarks (Clarke & Roche, 2009). Students will develop their conceptual understanding by creating models, pictures, symbols and other representations to record, compare and order fractions, and communicate mathematical ideas both on a number line and in a number sentence (Clarke & Roche, 2009). By the completion of the unit students will be able to apply these fraction skills to everyday life situations using their problem solving skills. Benchmarking and residual thinking are effective strategies for solving fraction comparison problems that students will be exploring in this unit (Clarke & Roche, 2009; Mitchell & Clarke, 2004). This unit provides students with time to develop and use strategies involved in understanding fraction size and appropriate language to label fractions, according to Clarke and Roche (2009) this is an important next step. This unit works to dispel misconceptions by providing an environment where there is no one correct answer and student derived algorithms are celebrated (Mitchell & Clarke, 2004; Hunting, Oppenheimer, Pearn & Nugent, 1998; Van de Walle, Karp & Bay-Williams, 2010). Likely prior knowledge of students may include an understanding of equivalent fractions, least common denominator, and greatest common factor for this unit of work. Chinnappan (2005), Clarke, Roche & Mitchell (2007) and Irwin & Britt (2004) support this need for conceptual thinking where students are aware that rational numbers involve more than discrete whole numbers and can make a clear division between equal and unequal portioning. Fractions are used frequently in

measurement, probability, ratio and proportion, and algebra to solve equations such as = an equivalent fraction (Van de Walle et al., 2010). The use of scenarios from everyday life and concrete materials help to develop meaningful, relevant contexts which greatly assist students learning in this unit (Clarke, Roche & Mitchell, 2008; Le Mare, 2009; Mitchell & Clarke, 2004). This unit incorporates collaborative, discovery-based, child-centred learning influenced by sociocultural theories (Vygotsky, 1978). Using estimation activities supports understanding of fractions and is an important skill. Connecting visuals with the procedure and not rushing algorithms too soon are important teaching approaches within this unit (Clarke, Roche & Mitchell, 2008). The assessment strategies built into this unit of work create opportunities for teachers to have one-on-one, task-based discussions with the students. Along with this students are provided opportunities to discuss, reflect and question their understandings which provide the teacher with deep insights, which are recorded on checklists and rubrics for assessment and to inform future teaching and learning.

REFERENCES Chinnappan, M. (2005). Childrens mappings of part-whole constructs of fractions. In P. Clarkson, A. Downton, D. Gronn, M. Home, A. McDonough, R. Pierce, &

A. Roche (Eds.), Building connections: Theory, research and practice (Proceedings of the 28th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Vol 1, pp. 241-248). Melbourne: MERGA. Clarke, D. M., & Roche, A. (2009). Students fraction comparison strategies as a window into robust understanding and possible pointers for instruction. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 72(3), 137-138. Clarke, D. M., Roche, A., & Mitchell, A. (2007). Year six fraction understanding: A part of the whole story. In J. Watson & K. Beswick (Eds.) Mathematics: Essential research practice (Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Hobart, Vol 1, pp. 207-216). Adelaide: MERGA. Clarke, D. M., Roche, A., & Mitchell, A. (2008). 10 practical tips for making fractions come alive and make sense. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 13(7), 373-379. Hunting, R. P., Oppenheimer, L. M., Pearn, C. S., & Nugent, E. (1998). How sixth grade students explain connections between common and decimal fractions. In C. Kanes, M. Goos, & E. warren (Eds.), Teaching mathematics in new times (Proceedings of the 21st annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Vol 1, pp. 271-278). Brisbane: MERGA. Irwin, K. C., & Britt, M. S. (2004). Operating with decimal fractions as a part-whole concept. In I. Putt, R. Faragher, & M. McLean (Eds.), Mathematics education for the third millennium: Towards 2010 (Proceedings of the 27th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, 312319). Sydney: MERGA. Le Mare, A. (2009). Teaching stories: Teaching in the twentieth century. Educating Young Children: Learning and Teaching in the Early Childhood Years, 15(1), 13-15. Mitchell, A., & Clarke, D. (2004). When is three quarters not three quarters? Listening for conceptual understanding in childrens explanations on a fractions interview. In I. Putt, R. Faragher, & M. McLean (Eds.), Mathematics education for the third millennium: Towards 2010 (Proceedings of the 27th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Vol 1, pp. 367-373). Sydney: MERGA. Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2012). AusVELS: Mathematics. Retrieved August 19, 2012, from http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Mathematics/Curriculum/F-10 Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Van de Walle, J. A., Karp, K. S., & Bay-Williams, J. M. (2010). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

Topic: Fractions and decimals - Benchmarks Key mathematical understandings

(2-4 understandings only):

Year Level: 5

Term:

Week:

Date:

Key AusVELS documentation (taken directly from AusVELS documents): Content strand(s): Number and Algebra Sub-strand(s): Fractions and decimals Measurement and Geometry Statistics and Probability

Understand and represent commonly used fractions such as , and Develop understanding of fractions as part of unit wholes and as part of a collection Use models and benchmarks to judge the size of fractions

Level descriptions: The proficiency strands Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are an integral part of mathematics content across the three content strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. The proficiencies reinforce the significance of working mathematically within the content and describe how the content is explored or developed. They provide the language to build in the developmental aspects of the learning of mathematics. Proficiency strand(s): Understanding making connections between representations of numbers, using fractions to represent probabilities, comparing and ordering fractions and decimals and representing them in various ways. Problem Solving formulating and solving authentic problems using whole numbers

Content description: Compare and order common unit fractions and locate and represent them on a number line(ACMNA102) Recognise that the place value system can be extended beyond hundredths (ACMNA104) Compare, order and represent decimals(ACMNA105)

Fluency using estimation to check the reasonableness of answers to calculations Key equipment / resources: Key skills to develop and practise (including strategies, ways of working Cuisenaire rods mathematically, language goals, etc.): Fraction wall Benchmarks Appropriate language Fraction strips Interactive whiteboard Estimation Part-whole Appendices (a n) Justification Relevant prior curriculum: (In AusVELS Mathematics at Year

4): Year 6):

Reasoning investigating strategies to perform calculations efficiently Key vocabulary: Common fraction, decimal fraction, decimal number, denominator, estimate, equivalent set, equivalent fractions, improper fractions, mixed number, numerator, number line, proper fraction, unit fraction, whole number, term. Links to other contexts (if applicable, e.g., inquiry unit focus,

current events, literature, etc.)

Curriculum working towards: (In AusVELS Mathematics at Number and Algebra Fractions and decimals Compare fractions with related denominators and locate and represent them on a number line. Solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with the same or related denominator. Make connections between equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages.

Number and Algebra Fractions and decimals Investigate equivalent fractions used in contexts Count by , and s, including with mixed numerals. Locate and represent these fractions on a number line

Literacy ICT capability Critical and creative thinking Personal and social capability Sustainability

Listening Locating information Making choices Note taking Observing Ordering events Organising

MATHEMATICAL FOCUS

(what you want the children to come to understand as a result of this lesson short, succinct statement)

TUNING IN

(WHOLE CLASS FOCUS)

(a short, sharp task relating to the focus of the lesson; sets the scene/ context for what students do in the independent aspect. e.g., It may be a problem posed, spider diagram, an open-ended question, game, or reading a story)

INVESTIGATIONS SESSION

(INDEPENDENT LEARNING) (extended opportunity for students to work in pairs, small groups or individually. Time for teacher to probe childrens thinking or work with a small group for part of the time and to also conduct roving conferences)

(WHOLE CLASS FOCUS) (focused teacher questions and summary to draw out the mathematics and assist children to make links. NB. This may occur at particular points during a lesson. Use of spotlight, strategy, gallery walk, etc.)

ADAPTATIONS

- Enabling prompt (to allow those experiencing difficulty to engage in active experiences related to the initial goal task) - Extending prompt (questions that extend students thinking on the initial task)

ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

(should relate to objective. Includes what the teacher will listen for, observe, note or analyse; what evidence of learning will be collected and what criteria will be used to analyse the evidence)

Session 1 Students will develop benchmarks for zero, half and one by sorting fractions.

On an interactive whiteboard look at the number line warm-up (appendix a). Ask students to think about which fraction represents the amount of each number line that is shaded. Encourage students to volunteer answers and provide justifications. Teacher models how to play which ocean?. Tell Pet shop story (appendix f). Teacher models using the of an inch fish. Hold up fish and say fraction out loud. Find three cuisenaire rods that are each, a and a 1. Compare to benchmarks. Ask out loud; Is it bigger or smaller than 1.

Session 2 Students will continue to develop sense of the size of fractions in relation to benchmarks of zero, half and one.

In pairs, each pair receives a copy of which ocean? number line (appendix b) and fish fraction cards (appendix c) and cuisenaire rods. Students sort fractions using given benchmarks of 0, and 1. NB: exact location is not required on the number line, just needs to be in the ocean based on their value of greater or less than . Individually. Each student receives a copy of the fish fraction cards (appendix c). and fish bowls (appendix f). Instruct students to work individually to sort out the fish fractions into the bowls.

Discuss answers to which ocean. Give each pair a fraction card (appendix c). Two students hold clothesline, label one end 0 and the other 1. Ask the class where should be on the line. Put their card in correct ocean, pair to justify, and then swap positions with pair holding the line. Class discusses correct placement. What did you visualise? On the floor. Invite volunteers to justify why they put certain fraction cards in particular bowls. Ask; Can you show / justify it with a diagram? Can you justify it using another representation? Can you make a number triad, representing the fraction in words, as a symbol and decimal?

Enabling Can you use materials to help you? Can you model this? Use fraction wall (appendix d) and cuisenaire rods as a visual representation to scaffold. Extending Where should and go on the line? Students justify why these fractions are exactly in between the benchmarks. Enabling Small group with teacher. Work on sorting as a group with teacher guidance/ modelling. Use questioning techniques to gauge students understandings. Show me what you were thinking. What were you saying to yourself? Extending Give student where is your bowl? (appendix g). Instruct student to create their own fraction cards and place in correct bowl based on benchmarks,

Benchmark Exit Ticket (appendix h). Students place the fraction near the benchmark numbers zero, half or one. Teacher assess against rubric (appendix i). Teacher uses this assessment to inform future sessions.

Session 4 Students will identify which fraction of a pair is larger, make own fraction.

Teacher draws representation on the board (appendix j). Ask students to write on individual whiteboards a fraction they think is a good estimation for the fraction represented on the board. Volunteers record their estimation on the board and share reasoning. Repeat with various representations. In a circle on the floor, teacher plays making and comparing (appendix l) game against students. Both partners roll die twice to make a fraction, compare with partners fraction using greater than, less than or equal to. Draw representations or use cuisenaire rods to help fill in number sentence.

In pairs, one partner draws a picture of a fraction the other partner estimates what it is and provides and records an explanation of their estimation. Swap and repeat x 2. Then swap partners and repeat x 2.

Students gather in front of the interactive whiteboard to discuss and demonstrate iterating by superimposing shapes/ fractions then compare to estimation. If we change this what will happen? Is there a quicker, easier way to work it out?

without using physical representations. Enabling Cut out the whole shape and fraction parts and physically iterate. Extending Ask students problems involving mixed/ improper fractions on a number line. Can you give me one more example of ?

Estimation Exit Ticket (appendix k). Estimate what fraction is shaded and give explanation using words, diagrams and or symbols. Observation checklist (appendix n)

Students play game in pairs (mixed ability pairs based on previous sessions) . Teachers uses observation checklist to note students success on this activity.

Session 5

Students will draw on conceptual understanding and understanding of relative size of fractional parts to line fraction up on a number line.

All fraction fish swimming in the ocean. Each pair catches five fish, and then thinks about /discusses order and placement on the number line, which is marked zero, half, one and two but does not place them yet.

In pairs, students write a description of how they decided on the order for the fractions and where to place them on the number line. Before placing on the line students must estimate the size of the fraction.

Where am I fishing? clothesline number line represents the ocean. Using fishing boats (appendix m) as benchmarks, students place on the line. Students each get a blank card (fish) and marker, and think about where they would want to be (away from the boats so they do not get caught). Each student finds their place on the line, discuss each placement. When all are placed discuss which fractions are closest to the boats and which are furthest away. Who got caught? Justify? Gallery walk to another pairs number line and discuss with them. Do you agree with one anothers order and placement of the fractions? Why? Justify it?

Enabling Pull students aside, work with them to create successful fraction using cuisenaire rods and benchmarks. Extending Ask; Is there a point on the number line where your fish can be furthest from both boats? Explain? What other possible answers are there? Will that strategy work with other fractions/ benchmarks?

Enabling How could you check to see if you have made a good estimation? Look back at benchmarks. Extending Is there a fraction that could fit between the ones on their line? How do you know? Explain and prove?

Adapted from Petti, (2012); Van de Walle, Karp & Bay-Williams, (2010) & Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, (2012).

1 2

5 12

11 12

2 3

3 8

2 5

0 4

1 10

6 8

7 10

Correct fraction for a given model Used benchmarks correctly Sorted collection correctly

Appendix f Pet shop story A pet shop wants to organise their fish by size into fish bowls. Can you help them by placing the fish in the correct bowl?

Near 0

Near

Near 1

Appendix g Where is your bowl? Here are three fish bowls (near 0, near , near 1). Write three different fractions on three fish. Place you fish under the bowl in which it would belong.

Near 0

Near

Near 1

Choose one of your fish from above and explain why you placed it in the bowl you chose. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Appendix h Benchmark exit ticket 1. Circle the name of the correct ocean where the following fish fraction should be placed. Atlantic Ocean Pacific Ocean

1 2

2. Use what you know about fraction benchmarks to explain why your answer is correct. Use words, numbers or symbols to explain. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

Appendix i Rubric 2 points The response demonstrates a complete understanding and analysis of the problem. Application of reasonable strategy Explanation for the mathematical process used is clear, developed and logical Connections are made within mathematics are clear Supportive information/ numbers are provided 1 point The response demonstrates a minimal understanding and analysis of the problem. Partial application of a strategy Explanation for the mathematical process used is partially developed, logically flawed or not provided Connections are made within mathematics are partial or over generalised Supportive information/ numbers are not provided Appendix j Representations estimation

Appendix k Estimation exit ticket 1. Estimate what shade of the shape is shaded in.

2. Choose one shape and use what you know about fraction benchmarks to explain why your answer is correct. Use words, numbers or symbols to explain. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Appendix l Making and comparing fractions Work with a partner to play this game. 1. Each partner roles the die twice to get two numbers. Use those two numbers to make a fraction and record it on the chart. 2. Compare your fraction to your partners fraction using <, >, or =. 3. Draw pictures to help you fill in the number sentence. Your Drawing/Model/Picture fraction Partners Write a number sentence fraction using <, >, =

Appendix m

3 4

1 4

1 2

Correct placement of fraction within a benchmark Compared fractions correctly Correct placement of fraction on number line

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